The Mayor Fable
Author: Behrooz Arzhangpoor
Year of publishing: 2016
Subject: Fiction (Novel)
No. of Pages: 345
◙English text is available.
About the book:
An old crossed in love, broken-hearted man was living all alone in a forest and to survive he was making canvasses and picture frames from the woods of the forest trees and was giving them to his friend’s shop in a city for selling. He was also into drawing but he usually drew the picture of his beloved. One night a white wooly creature gave him a magic canvass and told him: ‘Instead of drawing of the Beloved’s face, draw something that can save people of the city.’ When the old man wanted to draw on that canvass, unbelievably he noticed that the canvass itself creates beautiful pictures. The old man, who gave his own made canvass and drawings to his friend’s shop with a cheap price, once decided to hawk them in the city himself especially the beautiful pictures the canvass made them. Until one day, a young girl came to him and asked him to draw a pleasant and nice picture for her, a picture of a bride and groom on a horse. As the old man was looking for what the young girl ordered in his drawn pictures, he noticed that the girls order had been drawn on the magic canvass. He took the canvass out and showed it to the girl. Once she saw the picture, she fainted. The old man scared a lot and told himself if she had died, it would have been his fault. .……
The book of ‘The Mayor’s legend’ is an imaginary story and the writer by using romantic and emotional genre is after narrating a social and political problem in most of today societies, especially third world societies. To campaign against social corruption that mayor and his men and also the well-to-do class of the society are its causes and initiators, he creates characters in a world of imagination and brings them to the battle field against corruption and social abnormalities founders. The writer with an eloquent and popular style creates a readable story in this book that besides being attractive for those interested in novels in Iran and other countries includes clear messages for informing people and challenging social and political problems.
About the Author:
Dr. Behrooz Arzhangpoor (1966/Iran-Naghadeh)
Dr.Behrooz Arzhangpoor is an Iranian active physician, author, poet and research in the field of literature, linguistics, poetry and social issues He penned articles and books, in fiction in particular, more than twenty years and has given lectures in prominent literary and scientific meetings and conferences in Iran and abroad. Arzhangpoor is one of the few Iranian authors has penned on syllable poetic style and known as the founder of a new poetic style of syllabic-stop-stress. His book named” syllabic-stop-stress Meter “was the first book that is written in Iran and the world. Arzhangpoor married and is the father of two children and now lives in Iran. Meanwhile, treating medically in Tehran hospitals, he writes and research constantly in Literature and Poem as well. At present, Dr. Arzhangpoor has engaged in composing a long Epopee named as title “Love- letters of Sacred Defense”. In this valuable book, the writer narrates Iranian peoples’ resistance and courageous against rapists in contemporary time .The first Volume of the series has been published recently.
Some of his published books:
1- “Syllabic-stop-stress Meter” Keykavoos Publications, Tehran, 2015.
2-” Love- letters of Sacred Defense”, Raz Institute, Tehran, 2014.
3-“Promise of Miracles”, Keykavoos Publications, Tehran, 2014.
4-“Thirteen (13-volume set)”,Raz Institute ,Tehran, 2015.
5-” Persian Break time”, Raz Institute,Tehran, 2015.
6-“White Marriage”, Keykavoos Publications,Tehran, 2014.
7- “The Legand of Mayour”, Keykavoos Publications, Tehran, 2013.
8-“Barn”, Keykavoos Publications,Tehran, 2013.
- “Children’s Village”, of Raz Institute, Tehran, 2015.
10.” Azerbaijan”, of Raz Institute,Tehran, 2015.
11.” The Culture of Driving 13-volume set”, Raz Institute, Tehran, 2016
12.”Culture of Civilizenship , Raz Institute, Tehran 2016.
The tea was always set up in old man’s hut. The kettle and teapot on the kerosene Aladdin lamp were old friends of the old man. He looked down on the kettle and teapot but, suddenly, he remembered something. He tapped his forehead with his hand, came down the stool, went to the wooden door, and took his rickety old pipe out of his mackintosh pocket. He put his hand into his trousers’ pocket and took a small tobacco pack out of it, poured it into the big hole of the pipe, and began igniting it. The tobacco didn’t lit. He didn’t know if it was wet. The old man held the pipe over the Aladdin lamp to dry the tobacco a little. He remembered that horrible night. He turned to the hut window rapidly. It was raining harder now. A lightening stroke the sky and there was a horrible sound. The old man turned on the hammock chair. With some effort, he lit the tobacco and drew the wooden tube of the pipe near his lips. His yellow and white mustache precluded tube head to touch his lips and the old man stuck the tube with a bunch of mustache hair into his mouth and then began sucking on it. The old man got calm. He blow out the thick smoke of the tobacco into the clay- straw room with anger. The black smoke of old man’s pipe danced nicely in the light of the lantern. In the light of the lantern hanging in the middle of the room, a sumptuous festival was going on. He threw himself on a hammock chair, going back and forth like the pendulum of a clock and stared at the small window as always. The sky didn’t let alone the jungle and old man’s hut. It constantly threatened him and sent out its black clouds for punishing him. The clouds disheveled jungle hair with the lash of lightening and rain flood and the jungle was fleeing to the other direction. The old man was not willing to drink tea, but stood up and picked up the narrow- waist saucer and cup from kitchen cabinet and went toward the kettle and teapot. He turned away and looked at the slot. He had made it stable and got calm upon looking at it. Once again, looked at the sky and jungle from the window. The roaring of the sky called for an opponent in the thick jungle of mountain hill. The old didn’t take it on himself. He turned back, as though he has forsaken the mattress of the ship for years. With utmost indifference, he searched the periphery of Aladdin lamp for the handle. However, the roaring of the sky was different in that night. It seemed the wind wanted to break the door of the old man’s hut. The windows trembled in weeping. The rain constantly whipped window breast, but the old man was always trying to be indifferent. Suddenly, a strange feeling simmered in his heart. Along with this feeling, he heard a sound from inside the jungle. The old man raised his left hand and waved it in front of his face. He used to be indifferent to things around him when he wanted to do so. But the same sound grew louder now. Help, help,… help, help! He went toward the window and wiped out the steam painted on the window with his hand and looked at the jungle. There weren’t unusual and all things were as before. The jungle was still fleeing from the sky and the sky roared with rage and roars and whipped the jungle. He did know what to do?! He heard the help cry once again and moved toward the mackintosh and put it on and returned to the wooden table and stool. The old man climbed up the stool, took the lantern down, and while the pipe was in his mouth, set out for the jungle. He wanted to stamp out the simmering of his heart. He knew no one was in the jungle in the midnight! He wondered if he was hallucinated but the sound grow louder and louder and clearer the more moved into the heart of the jungle. What a flooding rain! The ground was muddy and it was hard to walk. The old man tried to put his feet on roots pf jungle trees so that he does not get trapped in the mud between trees and does not sink into the swamp because in this time of the year the risk of getting stuck in the swamp was more than anytime else. Though the old man knew the periphery of the hut like the back of his hand, but the sound came from a more remote place! Now after more than an hour walk in the jungle, all things seemed to be strange and unfamiliar. The only usher of the old man was the sound calling him to it. A very familiar sound seeking help from him. It was very weird. The old man walked toward the sound and wondered:
“Whose sound can be so loud? A riddle had distressed the heart of the old man and had determined him not to return to his hut until he discovers it. He accelerated his pace and went into the heart of the jungle…
Chapter Two: The Beautiful White Wooly
Old man’s feet could no longer accompany him; he was exhausted and helpless. The more he went on, the sound was louder and clearer, but there were no traces of a creature. He wondered:
Am I hallucinating? Maybe it is my loneliness that has crushed my mind and has made me an insane! But no! He heard the sound once again and didn’t know what is going on! The only thing he wanted was to find the owner of the sound as soon as possible…
Some meters agreed he reached some trees burning from fire because of the lightening. Red claws of the fire were tormenting the tree ruthlessly and were calling the trees to an unequal fight, though he was also stuck in this fight himself and was wrestling with the whips of the rain. The sound was in the periphery! Between burning trees… Oh, it seems that the sound comes from beneath one of the broken trees! The old didn’t care about who is seeking help and was searching between the burning trees for the owner of the sound.
Help! … Help! Finally the old man found out beneath which tree the sound is coming and managed to take out the one who was dying under the broken tree. The small creature fainted once taken out.
The old could not make out what the hell this creature is doing at the midnight! He hugged it and hurried toward the hut. He prayed the little creature be still alive. It was dammed wet. He laid the little wooly on the bed and covered it with his blanket. He brought another blanket from his commode and threw it upon it so that it becomes warm. The beautiful white wooly was lying in old man’s bed like a globular white wooly ball. Its beautiful white hair was so long and thick that had covered its face completely. Only some parts of its hands and feet could be seen. A creature the size of a big rat or maybe a kitten.
The old man had frequently found such strange creatures in the jungle, but had hurt none of them and would release them after primary curation so that they can return to the jungle. He didn’t have any idea where are these creatures coming from, but all of them would return to him now and again.
The most upsetting thing for the old man was that when they returned to him they would weep intensely and produced weird sounds, as though they wanted to tell him something. But the old man only helped them so that they do not die. He didn’t liked to know what they are telling, and didn’t liked to speak to others, even himself! Even he would be irritated by the sound they made, but didn’t say anything so that they return to the jungle themselves. Now, another creature, the only difference was that it could talk. He was wrestling with himself. Should he talk to it? Should he ask who is it? Should he ask it where are coming other creatures like it? Or he should be quiet again?
He thought for a while. As always, he raised his left hand and waved it in front of his face. He didn’t care.
After a while looking at the beautiful white wooly creature, the old man raised the flame of Aladdin lamp and got prepared to cook a delicious soup until it wakes up and eats that.
As though returning from the battlefield, he threw the warm armor on the nail near the door and hanged the lantern from the ceiling of the hut. He surged for the hammock chair, reclined like a conqueror general, and cranked the clock once again. When chair tick tock started, a bulk of various questions swarmed to the mind of the old man about this little beautiful white wooly.
He lit his pipe and still struggled with his thoughts. He took a puff on the pipe strongly. He hadn’t blown out the smoke of the first puff when the white wooly started to jolt.
The old man tried to invite the little creature to sleep by stopping the tick tock of the chair, but it seemed that it does not want to sleep again. He jolted once again, raised like a rolling ball, and sat. The old man was laughing at the way it was sitting, but stopped the laughing as best as he could. He didn’t want to terrify that little beautiful white wooly with his coarse laugh.
The little beautiful white wooly reached his small hands to his head and took the wool cloth over its head. Its face was not obvious in lantern light. It brushed aside its beautiful, white, long hair with the other hand. Its big eyes glittered in the gleam of the lantern.
The thing that was important to the old man was that it remains alive. The soup was not ready yet and the tea had been prepared. The old man stood up slowly and set out for the kitchen, took a narrow- waist saucer and cup from the cabinet, and moved toward the kettle and teapot. He put the teacup on the wooden table in the center of the room and put the semi- empty sugar bowl beside it. Without looking at the little creature, he returned to the pendulum chair, as though nothing had happened, and took a puff on the pipe. Even he looked back at the window.
The white wooly didn’t know how to start the conversation. It seemed to it that it knew the old man since long before, for the behavior of the old man was familiar to it.
As lying on the bed, slowly it began to speak:
Thank you for saving my life! The old man didn’t answer. The silence dominated the hut for some minutes. The little white broke its silence once again:
Can I talk to you? The old man said nothing and took another strong puff on the pipe!
The white wooly looked at for a while at the old man and for a while at the hut periphery. The only thing that attracted its attention was a big tableau hanged over the old man head. The tableau showed a very beautiful white dress with a long hair extending to her knees. A bunch of red rose flower was in her hands, all withered and falling beneath the feet of the girl. It was not known if she was laughing or crying; her face was indifferent despite perfect beauty. The old man asked:
To whom belongs that picture? Did you paint it? The old man was as indifferent as the picture, neither laughed nor cried; as though he has been thinking for years.
The white wooly started speaking once again:
- Do you still love that girl? Do you recognize her if you see her once again?
The old man moved the hammock chair and the tick tock music of the chair dominated the hut. The white wooly looked sadly at the narrow- waist cup and said:
Nothing I will eat. Please forgive me for disturbing your peace. I am returning to the jungle but I should give something to you. You are a painter and create canvas, right?
Once again the old man didn’t answer, but he wondered how the little white wooly knows he is a painter and creates canvas?!
He whispered to himself maybe it has seen my canvas and thus knows that … but canvases where not in the room! Does that mean that it has realized that I am a painter and create canvas by mere looking at a tableau?
The sound of the white wooly broke old man’s train of thought and said:
I should give you a magical canvas, a souvenir. This canvas has the power to paint anything you like; the only thing you do is to tell it:
“O the canvas of loneliness, remembering the Lady of Beauty paint what you know”. But apart from painting, it can reveal important secrets. It always paints the truth and you are the only person who can save this town… this town has many unrevealed secrets in its heart. I want you to reveal the secrets of this town with the help of this canvas and then release many people… be very careful about the canvas! … It should not break! … Have it always by yourself! … It keeps you safe! Be careful about yourself … goodbye”.
The little white wooly got down the bed and moved toward the door. It opens the door, stood in the doorway, and looked at the old man. Once again, the old main didn’t stop looking at the window. The only word the old man uttered was the tick tac sound of the hammock chair. The little wooly cast down its look, closed the door, and set out for the jungle.
It was still raining and was drizzling; but the dark pervaded everywhere; nevertheless, the white wooly went toward the jungle without fearing anything. It moved some meters, returned, and once again looked at the hut. Without moving, the old man traced the little white wooly going away to behave as he wishes. The little white wooly disappeared in the jungle and the old man, as wrestling with his thoughts, fall asleep on the chair.
Chapter Three: The Canvas of Loneliness
The old woke up with the sunrise. The rain had stopped and the scent of wet soil could be smelt everywhere. At first, he didn’t remember last night event, yawned, get off the chair, and looked at the jungle from the window. How fresh were the trees? He remembered last night happenings upon seeing the jungle. At first, he assumed it to be a dream but when he returned to the room, remembered everything.
But what difference it made? Asleep or awake? Reality or dream? It made no difference to him. Everything was over. Today was another day. To him, yesterday and today were the same.
He raised, picked the teapot, and moved toward the Aladdin lamp with the teacup that was still full.
He picked up the kettle and teapot. Lamp flames and kettle water were struggling and a knuckle of water was scrambling in the kettle. He revived the kettle and filled it. Moreover, he washed the teapot and poured a cup of tea and put it on the table in a standby position. He loved freshly brewed tea. Then, he went to the door to give a new life to the room by opening the door. Near the door, a golden canvas leaning against the wall attracted his attention. He stooped and picked it up. Though the old man had been busy creating canvas for years and was a master of the art, the frame of this canvas had been created and cut very skillfully. The material of canvas fabric was not known, but anything it was, it was very white and firm. He remembered the words of the beautiful white wooly. With a scornful laugh, he told the canvas:
Paint a pipe for me! A freshly brewed tea in a narrow- waist cup with sugar cubes beside it! Hurry up; I haven’t served my breakfast!
And put the canvas on the wooden table and laughed …
He raised the flame of Aladdin lamp so that kettle water boils faster. He glanced at the canvas. Nothing happened. He forsook the canvas so that it comes to itself in loneliness.
It was a good canvas. Maybe he could sell it in return for a higher price. He opened the door and took it to the yard of the hut.
the sun was about to rise. The air was very clear and clean. He took a deep breath. He loved mountain and jungle, as well as loneliness.
He went toward the workshop door beside his room and picked up the canvases he had gathered yesterday and put them on their stool in the yard. The canvases dry when put in shadow and open air. There were 13 canvases in the like white soldiers standing in attention. After arranging them, the old man stood in front of them like a veteran general and looked at the soldiers triumphantly. Without making a sound out of his throat, he said:
Today, you, my white soldiers, should attack the town! We should conquer the town! Understand?!
All of them said unanimously: Yes, general!
The old man went toward the warehouse resolutely, took a bulk of wood, and threw it next to the axe and the stub, which was the slaughterhouse of the woods. He had to break them into two equal pieces to make canvas frame and stool out of them.
He hit the wood with the axe for a couple of times and prepared the wood piece for cutting. The memory of last night didn’t go away. He had many questions to which he could find no answers. That white wooly was a speaking creature. He blamed himself for not talking to it last night.
even he could ask the white wooly to stay in the hut and live with him and thus he would not be alone anymore. He raised his left hand and waved it in the air against his face. He didn’t used to pick at somebody. Always he would disregard things. He loved liberty. He adored freedom. Though tortured by loneliness, he loved it.
He returned to the hut, the kettle was simmering. He picked up the teapot to brew tea. Again, he remember the words of the little white wooly and remembered his own poem. He had to chant that poem. Certainly, the white wooly had a reason to ask the old man to chant that poem. He filled the teapot with boiling water, placed it upon the kettle, and put a napkin on it to brew well. He came back, stood beside the wooden table, picked up the canvas and looked at it. He told the canvas:
“O the canvas of loneliness, remembering the Lady of Beauty paint what you know”. Then, seriously and deliberately and thoughtfully, told the canvas:
“Can you paint whiteness and purity?” always he liked to paint a tableau that everyone could perceive it; a tableau that only those knowing the true meaning of humanity can see its beauty. He wished this canvas were a magical canvas. Afterward, he put it on the dining table and went to pour himself a cup of tea…
When the old man drank the tea on his pendulum chair, got up, collected the cut wood pieces, and put them in the workshop, so that he can create frames and canvases out of them after cutting them.
Then fastened together the canvases he had created to set out for the town. It was an hour walk to the town. He didn’t like to see the people of the town, and preferred to sell the canvases in his friend’s store before people are getting up and buy some eating and return.
He could find almost anything in the store, everything from soup to nuts! There were a big vitrine. It was a three-store building. A store facing the main street, another facing the side street, and the other facing the alley where the house of his friend was exactly behind the store. His friend would go out scarcely. The only thing he did was to wash and sweep the store pavement with tankard so that passengers know that the store is open.
The storeowner and the old man were friends. He was the only one receiving the old man warmly; but as far as the old man didn’t ask for money! The old man went to him every Saturdays and Sundays, gave the canvases and paintings he had painted, and received money or eating in return to make a living in his hut.
That morning he had 11 raw canvases plus a painted one. Sometimes his friend ordered a painting and the old man charged him an extra cost for the ordered painting. Some of the citizen had referred to him to learn painting but he hadn’t accepted the offer. He didn’t want to show up in the town. He had told his friend if anyone wants to learn painting, he should come to mountaintop in his hut! I only teach painting there!
Seldom a person dared or bothered to go to the mountaintop to learn painting from an old man known as an insane in the town.
The old man picked up the canvases and return to the room to close hut door when he saw the golden canvas on the table from the window.
He wondered: Maybe I could sell it at a higher price. He entered the room, picked it, put among other canvases, and closed the door. Now, he had 13 canvases to sell!